Jamaica’s Barbara Bailey Receives CARICOM Triennial Award

ANTIGUA – Jamaica’s Barbara Evelyn Bailey, Director of the Centre for Gender and Development Studies at the University of the West Indies has been selected as the recipient of the Ninth CARICOM Triennial Award for Women, 2008.

The Award was introduced in 1983 to recognize and honour Caribbean women who have made significant contributions to socio-economic development at the national and regional levels.

Professor Barbara Bailey has distinguished herself in the field of education, gender studies and research. She has been and continues to be a strong advocate of gender equality and equity through her teaching and research activities.

This eminent Jamaican scholar holds a baccalaureate degree in the sciences – Botany, Zoology and Microbiology, a Diploma, Masters and PHD in Education. As an academic, she has engaged in research which has filled a critical void in regional gender and education literature and has had significant implications for public educational policy. Her work in gender and education has made a distinctive contribution to educational practice and curriculum development, especially in relation to gender.

At the regional level, Professor Bailey has served as advisor to CARICOM on several occasions including at the meeting of the Commission on the Status of Women which acted as the Preparatory Committee for the UN Special Session on Women at the United Nations headquarters in New York in March 2000.

She was also consultant to the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) charged with the responsibility to develop and implement a curriculum for a regional gender training programme and to evaluate and publish a set of training modules.

She was also Member of CARICOM’s Gender Mainstreaming Task Force in 2001 and served on the Regional Advisory Committee on Gender Matters.

At the National level, she has served as Chair of the National Gender Advisory Committee appointed by the Government of Jamaica to develop a strategic and comprehensive policy for achieving gender equality and social justice and provide direction, coordination, integration and monitoring of gender mainstreaming activities of the government. She was also Co-Chair of the Jamaica National Preparatory Commission which prepared the National Report on the Status of women in Jamaica for the Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing, China.

A prolific publisher, Professor Bailey is constantly challenging the “publish or perish” dictum that so many in academia fear. She has been the author and editor of numerous books, journal articles and presented at numerous academic conferences.

Her research interests include educational attainment and performance, gender based violence, gender disparities within the CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME), micro enterprise development, gender ideology and pedagogy including feminist pedagogical theory.

One of her most critical pieces of research is Gender Differentials in Education that examined the less than optimum participation and performance of boys in education. It aims at improving the understanding of gender and its impact on the educational process and education outputs.

Professor Bailey’s work has in no small way assisted Caribbean countries to achieve national and international development goals, including their commitments to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), especially promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women.

She joins a band of eight select women who have made significant contributions at the national and regional level in various fields of endeavours that have impacted the social and economic development of the Community.

The first Award was made in 1984 to Ms. Nesta Patrick, national of Trinidad and Tobago. Thereafter seven women have received this prominent Award for their dedication and determination in broadening the parameters of existence for women and improving their economic, social, political, cultural and legal status. They are: the late Dame Nita Barrow, national of Barbados in 1987, Dr. Peggy Antrobus, national of Grenada and citizen of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, 1990; Ms. Magda Pollard, national of Guyana, 1993; Dr. Lucille Mair, national of Jamaica, 1996; Professor Joycelin Massiah, national of Guyana and citizen of Barbados, 1999; Professor Rhoda Reddock, national of Trinidad and Tobago, 2002 and Justice Desiree Bernard, national of Guyana in 2005.

The award to Professor Bailey was presented at the Opening Ceremony of the Twenty-Ninth Meeting of the Conference of Heads of Government of the Caribbean Community in Antigua and Barbuda on Tuesday, July, 1.

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